HOLTROP S.L.P. Transaction and Business Law is currently made up by a team of 11 people, although we are looking to recruit further. Our aim is to grow to 15 people in the coming years.
Speaking clearly and being sincere are our core values, we believe that only in this way we can maintain our high level of commitment. Our blog is one of the main means we use to put it in practice.
Where we come from
In 2008 Piet Holtrop and María Ferrer set up HOLTROP S.L.P. Transaction and Business Law with the ambition of creating a leading law Firm in the renewable energy, viticulture and international transactions sectors, although not exclusively limited to those. The two last words of our name reflect our desire to assess our clients in any legal problematic related to their business activity.
Piet Holtrop has been practicing law in these sectors in Spain since the start of the millennium, when he moved to Spain from his natal Holland. There is an increasing convergence between the fields of renewable energy, sustainability, efficiency and viticulture and therefore, we see it as coherent and harmonious to focus on them. Piet Holtrop grew up in Germany and studied European Law in Holland. María Ferrer is a food technologist and works as an interdisciplinary advisor with the lawyers of the Firm, although she also has under her supervision the administrative team of the Firm.
In 2014 Daniel Pérez, specialized in European Law, Master degree from the prestigious College of Europe in Bruges, and Doctorate at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, joined this project as a professional partner.
We also count with Abel Garriga as off counsel in the field of intellectual property, where he has an important influence and a great visibility, dealing with cases of significant relevance in the cultural realm. In the section “us” on our web page you can find a description of all our lawyers: Helena Badger, Montse Pasalodos and Jorge Andrey, and also, of our administrative personnel: Cristina López, Esteban Carrillo and Marjolein Koene.
We are members of APPA, UNEF, the Platform for a New Energy Model, Secartys, the Cluster of Energetic Efficiency of Catalonia and the Cluster for the Innovation of the Viticulture sector. We demonstrate our commitment to these organizations with frequent sponsorships and by the participation of our professionals in their panel debates and conferences.
Our growth is a result of an approach that combines civic consciousness and business competitiveness. We are a Firm which takes a clear position in favour of renewable energies, and we do not defend clients who are incompatible with this stance. The defence of the sector of renewable energies in Spain is a good example of that: we were awarded the Eurosolar Spain Prize in 2015.
We are currently defending over 3.500 installations of different renewable technologies, owned by thousands of individuals and hundreds of small, medium and large businesses, such as Comsa Emte, Group Enhol or Enercon, and others part of the IBEX 35.
We are also representing in different proceedings, at both a national and a European level, APPA, AEOLICAN, ACER, Greenpeace, Eurosolar, Solartys, the Cluster for Energetic Efficiency of Catalonia or the Platform for a New Energy Model. The latter one we advise on a pro bono basis.
These proceedings are a necessary harm to regain legal certainty in Europe, starting by Spain. We give all we have to obtain a favourable decision from the European Court of Justice. Our Firm has a very considerable media influence, as we believe that it is our duty to deliver our conscious and qualified message about the electricity sector to the general public.
Our claims and complaints before the European Commission and the European Parliament are of particular relevance and have been underwritten by the practical entirety of the renewable sector in Spain. Daniel Pérez has a prominent role in this sector and is in charge of the direction of the European Union Law cases.
With less visibility but with coherence, we also act in other sectors. The food sector, and specifically viticulture, have been the second focus point of our Firm and of its founder Piet Holtrop since the beginning of his wanderings in Spain. Our Firm has always had a strong transactional work load. In 2015 we advised the buyer company SPI Group in its operation to purchase the cellar Señorío de Arínzano property of Gran Feudo group, which is in turn mostly owned by the FENIX fund, a consortium comprised by BBVA, Banco Santander, CaixaBank, Sabadell, Bankia and Popular, assessed by Gómez Acebo-Pombo. In the following years we will close several more transactions in the same sector which are already under way. The first relevant experience in this field was an M&A operation in 2002, relating to a cellar in the Priorat region, in which Piet Holtrop intervened, who at that time was still collaborating with another Firm.
When we talk about transactions, HOLTROP S.L.P has been conceived from its inception as a Firm oriented towards the assessment of businesses, with a special focus on international transactions, mainly acquisitions of other businesses. In the majority of operations in which we have participated, we have represented foreign buyers, although the tendency in the recent years has been to advise national buyers and sellers.
The first transaction in the renewable sector was in 2001, year from which Piet Holtrop became committed to APPA as a collaborating partner, and since 2009 our firm sponsored the Study of the Macroeconomic Impact of Renewable Energies in Spain. Since then, we have intervened in several tens of operations and transactions involving renewable assets. Generally, our advisory work has been related to transactions with international elements, and although the food and renewable sectors stand out, it has not been limited to companies in these areas. The Fashion sector is another one where we have intervened in some main operations. We can count with some big Fashion companies among our customers and we have assessed in the opening of the Flagship stores of those companies in Spain. Finally, it is worth mentioning our participation in different platforms in the line of transactions with citizen participation, such as Ecrowd or Firmeza Solar and the advice for the project of Crowdfunding Citizen Energy.
We believe in specialisation because we want to excel in everything we do. Limiting ourselves to a few regulated sectors, with very specific dynamics, we have placed ourselves in a market niche where we have managed to become highly competitive.
The constant regulatory changes of the regulated sectors require a continuous update of on the latest legislation by our lawyers who have to analyse the legal contingencies within a transaction, involving assets affected by those changes.
Our Firm undertakes a very relevant litigious praxis in the defence of renewables. This circumstance is decisive to our analytical capacity of the aforementioned regulatory changes, both in the sphere of drafting due diligence reports, as for negotiating guarantees from them. As a necessary aspect of our litigation work against the different and continuous cutbacks to the productive installations of renewable energies we have had to perform work equivalent to due diligence reports of over 3.500 Photovoltaic, Wind, Mini Small hydraulic and Cogeneration installations. Right now, few firms are in this privileged situation, beneficial for our customers and for us. They perceive it from the economic conditions they receive for our services, and we perceive it from their response.
Other legal approaches
Our special emphasis in the area of intellectual property is a necessary complement in the counsel for transactions which entail the transmission of trademarks and other intellectual property. By all means, we also have a good understanding of corporate, company, employment and administrative law in order to cover all necessary elements of a due diligence report. In another line of work, because of the lamentable situation brought on the renewables sector, although we do not act as receivers, we do have a lot of experience in the restructuring of assets affected by insolvency, operations known as turnaround. Also, European Law will evolve into a field of activity in our Firm beyond the renewable energy sector, where it currently has its most notable presence. Finally, we can observe interesting developments in the field of smart cities, where we are starting to advise in subjects like energy efficiency, district heating and cooling, smart networks, self-consumption or electric vehicles.
Communication and its dynamics can make or break a business negotiation. The command of different languages is a basic requirement to achieve a satisfactory result; we offer advice in Spanish, Catalan, English, French, Dutch, Italian and German. We have extensive cross-border experience having carried out operations between Spain and countries like France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, the US or Argentina. When negotiating conditions of a transaction, we bring together that intercultural experience with creativity and deep legal understanding of the transactional world. We are renowned as good facilitators to successful transactions, always paying maximum attention to detail in order not to leave any contingency unattended.
Our fees reflect our involvement
We work with Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFA), which are alternative modalities of tariffing. Hourly invoicing and the classic categorization of the lawyer based on experience have lost prominence in the legal world and as such, do not exist in the conditions we offer. The closest we get to it is with our blended hourly rate of 250 €. In other words, any of our lawyers would invoice at this rate when a task would be hour based. We generally offer discounts of up to 30% of the tariff when we estimate a lot of hours will be required, and even higher if we include a success fee. However, we use closed budgets with fixed costs when it is possible to make an estimation. For projects we have very much under control, such as Due Diligence, we charge a rate by tasks, rather than for the hours employed. In the vast majority of our engagements we participate in the risk of our clients by including success fees clauses.
The aim of our economic fee proposals is that the client is able to anticipate the total cost of our service without experiencing any negative surprises in the invoices, and with some participation on our side in the litigious or transactional risk. We wish to establish long lasting relationships with our clients, and grow with them.
Where to find us
Through our blog www.holtropblog.com you can follow our latest news and at 10 Via Augusta, 3rd floor, we will be delighted to welcome you and tell you everything you need to know about us.
- Royal Decree Law 14/2010 brings radical feed in tariff cut for PV
- A closer look at retroactivity in Spanish Law
- RDL14/2010 infringes Directive 2009/28/EC
- The increasingly inaccurately called electricity sector reform: one step closer to abyss
- Will RD1565/2010 cause a shakeout in the Spanish PV sector?
- Sol(d) Out - a film about the renewables sector by the filmmaker César Vea
- July 2016, European State Aid Law Quarterly: "Electric Generation and State Aid: Compatibility is the Question"
- Suprem Court has doubts about the "Electricity Tax"
- Financing sustainable change: spend-to-save
- June 29th 2016, Session APPA/ENERCLUB: A new era for photovoltaics